Take This Waltz (2011)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama

Take This Waltz (2011) Poster

A happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street.


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15 July 2012 | ferguson-6
| Tastes Like Chicken
Greetings again from the darkness. We have watched Sarah Polley grow up on screen. She began as a 6 year old child actress and evolved into an indie film favorite. Now, she is finding her true voice as a film director ... and what a unique voice it is. In Away from Her (2009), she told the heartbreaking story of a husband's struggle with losing his beloved wife to Alzheimer's Disease. Now we get the story of Margot, who just can't seem to find happiness or fulfillment within the stability of marriage.

Margot is played exceedingly well by Michelle Williams. I would say that without the casting of Ms. Williams, this film would probably not have worked. There is something about her that prevents us from turning on her character when she veers from her loyal, if a bit lacking in passion, husband Lou (played by Seth Rogen). Williams and Rogen have the little things that a marriage needs ... a language until itself and the comfort of consistency. What Margot misses is the magic. She thinks she finds that in her neighbor Daniel, a rickshaw driver played by Luke Kirby. Daniel is the kind of guy that every guy inherently knows not to trust, yet women somehow fall for. He is a subtle and slow seducer. The kind that make it seem like everything is innocent ... right up until it isn't.

Margot has that most annoying of spousal traits: she expects everyday to be Disneyland. The best scene in the movie occurs when Lou's sister (a terrific Sarah Silverman) confronts Margot and tells her that life has a gap and that you will go crazy trying to fill it. It's a wonderfully insightful line from writer/director Polley. Of course, we understand that this is Margot's nature and she learns that sometimes broken things can't be fixed.

Another great scene occurs in the women's locker room after water aerobics. There is a juxtaposition between generations of older women and younger ones. We see the differences not only in physical bodies, but in the wisdom that comes with age. More brilliance from the script. The one scene that I thought crossed the line was the "martini" scene. I found it tasteless, vulgar and far more extreme than what was called for at the time. But that's a small complaint for an otherwise stellar script.

As terrific as Ms. Williams and Ms. Silverman are, I found Seth Rogen to be miscast and quite unbelievable as a focused cookbook writing guy who has pretty simple, yet quietly deep thoughts about how a marriage should work. Again, this didn't ruin the film for me, but I did find him distracting and quite an odd choice.

It's filmmakers like Sarah Polley that keep the movie business evolving. Her viewpoint and thoughts are unique and inspirational, and should lead to a long career as a meaningful writer/director. Oh, and the use of Leonard Cohen's "Take this Waltz" song fit right in over the credits.

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Did You Know?


In an interview with Esquire in July 2012, Sarah Silverman talked about being nude onscreen for the first time during the locker room shower scene. She said, "Taking all my own mishigas out of it, it's so unsexualized. I'm standing like a caveman. It's very dead. Now, I'm trying to be positive about myself, because I feel like even if you're self-deprecating it's still a kind of self-obsession. So I'm trying to just say I'm a human body -- it works. If I were somebody else looking at my character, I'd be like, 'She's beautiful.' I'm practicing. I'm not succeeding." She pointed out that having several older women in that scene added to the unsexualized feeling. "Women are naked in front of each other every day. It's a very common, comfortable thing. You're trying on clothes, or you're in the shower at the Y. But the female nudity in movies is always sexualized. Sarah [Polley, director of Take This Waltz] said, 'It would be interesting to see this everyday occurrence that's never mirrored on film.' There's no music telling you how to feel. There's no sexy lighting. I keep using the word jarring. It isn't funny or dramatic. It just is."


Geraldine: You're good news. You know that?


Margot's house (62 Mackenzie Crescent) and Woodbine Beach are on opposite sides of Toronto's downtown, and walking the distance between them takes more than two hours. Sarah Polley acknowledged this inconsistency, saying "It's a romanticized, idealized Toronto where we would have access to the waterfront on [the west] side of town".


Secret Heart
Written by
Ron Sexsmith (as Ronald Eldon Sexsmith)
Performed by Leslie Feist
Publishing Courtesy of Universal Music
Publishing Group a division of Universal Music Canada Ltd.
Master Courtesy of Arts & Crafts Productions Inc


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Drama

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$137,019 1 July 2012

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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